Red Sox games are not going to be the same without Jerry Remy's famous voice for awhile. The announcer and ballpark fixture is taking an indefinite leave of absence after having setbacks following cancer surgery.
New England Sports Network made the announcement Wednesday on its Web site.
“I appreciate all of your concern and I hope to be back in the booth soon. I will you keep posted right here at Sawxheads!,” Remy wrote on his blog on sawheads.com.
Remy, 56, is a former smoker who had surgery for lung cancer late last year and later developed an infection and pneumonia, according to the site. He disclosed his illness to reinforce the dangers of smoking.
Remy, who has been with NESN since 1998, is known by many generations of fans because he was a former major league second baseman for the Red Sox from 1978-84. In 1,154 games he hit .275 with seven homers and 329 RBIs. His RemDawgs hot dogs are a fixture on Yawkey Way.
Former pitcher Dennis Eckersley filled in for Remy at Wednesday night's game against the Cleveland Indians beside play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo, who has teamed with Remy since 2001.
"I want to focus on completing my recovery so that I can return to work without distractions or interruptions," Remy said on the site. "I hope that disclosing my bout with cancer will reinforce the dangers of smoking to every member of Red Sox Nation, especially children."
Red Sox Nation is the team's official fan club. Fans elected Remy president of it.
"As part of the NESN family, we want Jerry to concentrate on his health and getting well," NESN president Sean McGrail said. "When he's ready to return, his place in the booth will be waiting for him."
Sox manager Terry Francona knew about Remy's illness before Wednesday's announcement.
"I talked to Rem quite a few times this winter," Francona said after Boston's 9-2 loss Wednesday night. "He's in our thoughts and prayers, always is. He's a good friend of everybody's."